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Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It: Leading with Integrity, Grit, and Teamwork

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By Kendra Rhim

At Inspire Brands, our greatest resource is our people. Guided by our values and behaviors, we strive to be a company that embraces inclusion and diversity in gender, race, background, thinking, and perspective.

In 2021, we rolled out People First @ Inspire, an initiative to ensure we attract, develop, and retain the best possible talent. Part of the People First initiative is Upward Mobility in Restaurant Operations, which involves showcasing team member success stories across our family of brands.

Today, we’re highlighting Michelle LeBlanc, Franchise Business Consultant with SONIC.

Michelle LeBlanc, Franchise Business Consultant, SONIC

Who has been your biggest inspiration or champion?

My biggest inspiration has been the franchisees, Drive-In operators, and crew members that I’ve worked with for the past 16 years. When I had the opportunity to move from the marketing side to the operations side, I really had no idea what I was doing but they took me to the Drive-Ins and showed me what to do and how to do it. I’ve watched the true grit and drive of the Drive-In managers and crew members work through the most difficult times, so seeing all of that has been really inspirational to me.

If you could talk to your younger self, what advice would you give?

I would tell that girl, “Yes you can!” Whether it’s someone else telling you that you can’t do something, or us telling ourselves, people carry around a lot of insecurities. They make us afraid to try new things and take on new responsibilities. So, I would absolutely tell my younger self that she doesn’t have to put herself in this one box – try something new!

What do you believe in and how are you working to achieve it?

I believe in opportunities for everyone to be the best they can be. One thing I really treasure about working for SONIC is the company has faith in their employees to accomplish whatever they want. I think if everyone is given those opportunities and treated like a potential leader from the very beginning, we would have such a strong crew everywhere we go.

Watch the video below to learn more about Michelle and the most important leadership lessons she’s learned over the past 16 years and what she loves most about her job.

This story is part of an ongoing series that highlights the stories of our team members and their career growth as part of People First @ Inspire.